San Francisco added 316 new COVID-19 cases on Monday morning, and over 540 between Saturday and Sunday, marking the biggest three-day jump in new cases the city has seen since the pandemic began.
The city’s cumulative case total rose by over 1,000 since Thursday, from 16,001 to 17,068 this morning, likely reflecting the expected spike in virus transmission from Thanksgiving gatherings and travel the week before. And hospitalizations continue to rise, with 117 confirmed and suspected COVID patients in San Francisco hospitals as of Saturday — 122 if you count patients transferred from other counties — nearing the midsummer peak of 130 during the last surge.
San Francisco’s case-positivity rate, while rising, is still at a 7-day average of 2.6%, well below the state’s percent-positivity of 9.7% as of last week. And on Saturday, California saw a record one-day total of new COVID cases with over 30,000.
All of this grim news comes as SF and four other Bay Area counties — Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, and Santa Clara counties — all entered a new phase of stay-at-home orders Sunday night. In addition to shuttering all indoor gyms and outdoor restaurants and bars, the order closes playgrounds, hair and nail salons, museums, and a variety of other activities, and sets a new 20% capacity limit for retail stores of all sizes. The shutdown comes in a week when holiday celebrations in the Bay Area would normally be in high gear, with office parties and house parties filling peoples’ calendars.
ABC 7 spoke to some restaurant employees around North Beach on Sunday, where the mood was upbeat but perhaps falsely so as servers and others prepared to be laid off once again for at least month.
Raul Flores, a server at Sotto Mare, told the station, “It’s my only job, I don’t have another one. I have to stay home, no parties, no family times.”
Across the country, the picture is similar, though not every state has instituted new lockdown orders so far despite skyrocketing cases. The middle of the country in particular continues to have the most hot spots, as the New York Times’ COVID map shows, with Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, Minnesota, and Indiana showing some of the densest numbers.
As of Friday, when the new orders were announced by Mayor London Breed and health officers from the four other counties, the plan was to keep restrictions in place until January 4. However, as we saw in the spring, continuing virus spread and an abundance of caution could keep businesses shuttered longer — and even if outdoor dining were to return, there’s no telling how much would even be going on amid January’s usually rainy and cold weather.